This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (Joshua 1:8 KJV)
Often, believers equate Bible reading or study to meditation. Although these two activities intersect, they are distinct. Meditation is our spiritual device to establish our hearts in the Word.
To meditate on the Word, we use our minds and mouths—we ponder and mutter the Word. Whether in thinking or speaking, the fundamental ingredients of meditation are focus, time, and repetition: We set a time to keep our thoughts and confessions focused on the Word and repeat the process.
Something happens to the human heart when the mind is focused—without distractions—on God’s Word. Meditation begins with fixating our minds on the Word and revolving our thoughts on God’s thoughts. As we ponder on the Word, the power of the Spirit in God’s words begins to permeate, transform and empower our hearts and lives. In my experience, I have noted that the Spirit pours out understanding and faith as I ponder on the Word.
Besides pondering, meditation also involves muttering. This practice of speaking aloud the words of a text was common in ancient Israel, but it is strange to our modern culture. In Joshua 1:8, God instructed Joshua to meditate on the Word by muttering it. And then He tells Joshua what would happen if he meditates on His Word: it will condition him to obey it and make his way prosperous.
So do not merely read the Word; make time to meditate on it.
What is the difference between reading and meditating on the Bible?
Apply the Word
Begin somewhere. If you usually read the Word for, say, 20 minutes, use 15 minutes to read and 5 minutes to meditate. Then grow in it.
Ask the Father to help you cultivate meditation on the Word.
- Meditation and your spiritual life
- Let the Words of My Mouth
- This Book of the Law Shall not Depart Out of Thine Mouth
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